Ron Mak's Propliners

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Well-known in Dutch and international propliner circles, Ron Mak's history with classic transports goes back a long, long way.
Ron has been particularly involved in the Consolidated PBY Catalina, at some point actually organizing tours with this fascinating flying boat, but his journeys to countries far and wide concerns all vintage propliners and I am proud to be able to share some of his images and recollections here.
Where applicable, Ron has added his comments.
Much, if not most, of the historic data was learned from the online database

Photos © Ron Mak Collection

FOR LATEST UPDATES --->> To bottom page

Ron shared this image of Douglas DC-6B FAP 401 because of a recent photo of this DC-6 preserved in Cali, Colombia
DC-6B HP-401 by Ron Mak (1973)
DC-6B FAP 401 of Fuerza Aérea Panameña (FAP), by Ron Mak, taken at Tocumen Airport (1973)
For more details on this airframe see my Search For.. gallery

 This batch dates from an update made 28Jan2020. All taken by Ron Mak at Panama's Tocumen Airport in Nov.'71.

Convair CV580, HR-SAY (c/n 33) of Servicio Aéreo de Honduras SA (SAHSA; 1945-1994)
SAHSA was formed 02Jan45 by Newton Shelton. Stake acquired by Pan American (38%, transferred to TAN
in 1970, then transferred 1991 to TACA Int'l when TAN was integrated into SAHSA).

C/n 33 held the following identities: N5507K for Hawaiian AL, VH-BZG for Ansett Australian AL, N5100 for
General Motors (converted CV-340-36 to CV-580 prototype (f/f 19Jan60), rereg'd N5127 for same,
HR-SAY for SAHSA, N5599J for Penberthy Lumber / Sin Asia AS, N771PR for Prinair, XA-IAG for AL Unidas SA (unused, scrapped at Gainesville Mun'l,TX).

From my (RL) own files: 'C/n 33 was the prototype conversion CV340 to CV580, Pacific Airmotive of Califirnia (a.k.a. Pac Aero). This CV340 equipped with an Allison 501-D13D turboprop led to certification of Allison Prop-Jet Convair 340/440 in April 1960. Later type designation changed to Convair CV580.'
'XA-IAG was believed to be stored Gainesville,TX (26Mar03 but registration not read).
April 2003: Penberthy Lumber N771PR. Stored at Gainesville. N-inquiry April 2003: registration current but "undeliverable triennal" R17Nov1980, Penberthy Lumber Company, Los Angeles,CA.'

Convair 440, HP-542 (c/n 487) of Aerofletes Int'les, named 'Victoriano Lorenzo'.
Aerofletes Internacionales (AFISA) lasted only 3 years: 1966-1969, so must have been stored here in 1971.
C/n 487 was first operated by Mohawk AL (as N4404), went to AFISA as HP-582, then became N4404
again, for Trademark Leasors Inc. but was scrapped at Fort Lauderdale,FL (FLL).

From Piston Engined Airliner Production List (TAHS; 2007): 'LACSA - ntu. Stored. N4404 Mohawk AL 'Airchief
Red Jacket', dlvd 21Aug59. Trademark Leasors Inc bt 2.72. HP-542 AFISA 'Victoriano Lorenzo' bt 3.71.
N90895 Trademark Leasors Inc rep 8.72. N4404 Trademark Leasors Inc. rr 2.73.
Wfu & std Ft Lauderdale 12.73. Broken up.'

Convair CV440, HP-541 (c/n 486) of Aerofletes Int'les, named 'Urraca'.
The history of c/n 486 is as brief: started out as N4403 for Mohawk AL, under that same tailnumber reg'd for
Koscot Interplanetary, became HP-541 for AFISA and was scrapped at Miami IAP,FL (MIA).
Koscot Interplanetary, Inc. was an Orlando,FL based multi-level marketing cosmetic company selling mink oil-based cosmetics. It became entangled in numerous legal difficulties and went out of business in the 1970s. [Wikipedia]

From Piston Engined Airliner Production List (TAHS; 2007): 'LACSA - ntu. Stored. N4403 Mohawk AL 'Airchief
Shenandoah' dlvd 21Aug59. Koscot Interplanetary Inc lsd 24Mar70. Mohawk AL returned 01Jan71.
Trademark Leasors Inc. bt 17Feb71. HP-541 AFISA 'Urraca' bt 3.71. Wfu & std Miami 8.72. Broken up.'

Convair CV440, HP-485 (c/n 184) of Copa Airlines
C/m 184 started with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as PH-CGB, transferred to Dutch Caribbean AL as PJ-CVB,
became HP-485 for Copa AL, reg'd N423AF for Gulfstream American. Scrapped at Miami IAP,FL (MIA).

Compañia Panameña de Aviación (COPA Panama), 1944-2000. Formed by Pan American (40%, later 33%). Acquired
by the Motta family. Stake taken by TACA. Stake acquired by Continental, increased to 51% by 1999, reduced to 12.3% in 2006. Renamed 0Jun2000 to Copa Airlines, which was expected to join Skyteam alliance in 2006 (formal application postponed to 4/9/07), eventually cancelled. Continental's share re-sold in 5/08 to third parties.
Joined Star Alliance (announced Nov.'2010, effective 22Jun12) - current to this date (Jan.2020).

From my (RL) files: 'Dlvd to KLM 09Jun54 PH-CGB; transferred to 'Westindisch Bedryf (ALM) 9 years later
rr PJ-CVB; COPA Panama 1968-1974 HP-485; American Jet Industries stored N423AJ at MIA 1974 and
demolished in 1975.'

From Piston Engined Airliner Production List (TAHS; 2007): 'PH-CGB KLM 'Jan van Scorel' dlvd 9.6.54.
PJ-CVB KLM rr 29.5.63. ALM - Antillean Airlines tfd 1.8.64. HP-485 COPA Panama bt 1968. N423AJ
American Jet Industries bt 6.74. Wgy & std Miami 7.74. Broken up 7.75.'

Martin 2-0-2, HP-398 (c/n 9133)
C/n 9133 held the following previous identities: N93047 for Northwest AL, was leased back by the Metin Company
for use as a demonstrator, went to California Central AL, to Pacific AL, transfer to TWA did not materialize,
same for a return to Martin Comp., to Admiral Air Service (still N93047), became HP-398 for RAPSA and
was scrapped at Panama (PTY). Rutas Aéreas Panameñas SA (RAPSA).

From Piston Engined Airliner Production List (TAHS; 2007): 'Lineas Aeropostal Venezolana - ntu. N93047
Northwest Orient Airlines '547' dlvd 23.12.47. California Central AL 'City of San Diego' bt 23.10.51. Southwest
Aws bt 25.3.55. Pacific Air Lines -new name-6.3.58. Trans World Airlines bt 24.6.60. Martin Air Leasing Inc bt
21.11.61. Jim Sorthun bt (no date). HP-398 RAPSA Panama bt 26.10.64. Wfu & std Panama City 1970. Broken up.'

Douglas C-47A, TG-O-CNA (c/n 19495)
C/n 19495 started with the USAAF, as 42-101032 (VC-47A), reg'd to N91261 (converted to C-47A),
rereg'd HR-CNA for Corp Centro Americana de Servicios de Navegacion Aérea (COCESNA), rereg'd
TG-O-CNA for same (private users in Honduras), leased with that same registration by Aviateca Guatemala,
as HR-SAZ to SAHSA. Destroyed 18Mar1990 at RTB off (wreck sunk for diving tours).

From my (RL) files: 'Submerged in lake at Oak Bay Resort - Roatan, Honduras; "offers snorkelers, shore
and boat divers a reef only short swim away and even a sunken DC-3 dive!".'

Douglas C-47, HP-496 (c/n 6068)
C/n 6068 started as 43-30637 (USAAF), but this registration was unused as it went to the US Navy, as
12402, designated R4D-1). It became C-159 for Avianca Colombia, modified to DC-3 Hiper. Rereg'd HK-159
for same. Became HP-496 for RAPSA, went to DGAC (HP-496), to Copa AL as were it was reg'd HP-665 (so
Ron probably caught it awaiting shortly before use at PTY by Copa), next was SETCO AL where it was reg'd
HR-AJY, from where it went to AV Centroamericanas (HR-AJY). Last reported under MRO/Conversion at
Tegucigalpa-Toncontin, Honduras.

From my (RL) files: 'SETCO HR-AJY, std Tegucigalpa 3/96. Ex/HP-665. Last noted Tegicigalpa-Toncontin
on 01Mar02 (wfu). Ln 27Feb03 Tegucigalpa - Toncontin SETCO. Reported not airworthy anno Jan05.
Ln ..Nov07 @Tegucigalpa. No.3 of DC-3s for Aerovias Centroamerica/Aviac, see HR-ATH + HR-ALU, still
stored in SETCO c/s at Tegucigalpa-Toncontin summer of 2009. has a March 16, 2014 photo by Heber Alejandro Doblado Perez (HN Spotters), showing
HR-AJY scrapped except for the derelict cockpit section.

Douglas C-53, HP-309 (c/n 7392)
After use by the USAAF/USAF (42-15875) it went to Dutch Caribbean AL (PJ-ALA), from where it went to
RAPSA (HP-309) as seen here, onward to Chitreana de Aviación (HP-729) and Budget Rent a Plane (HI-445:
Dominican Republic), was reg'd N90079 for North American A / c Sales; Hill Air Co; Falcon General;
Glenn Goodman. It was scrapped Wauchula Mun'l,FL (KCHN).

From my (RL) files: 'N90079 of Hill Air Inc. At FLL-Exec in Sep.'97. Ln 14Feb04 Wauchula Mun'l,TX.'

Douglas C-47A, HP-580 (c/n 19242) - named 'Rubén Cantú'.
C/n 19242 als started with the USAAF (42-100779) and after its military service became TI-204 for
TACA de Costa Rica, reregd'd C-170 for TACA de Colombia, rereg'd C-205 for same, then went to Pacific
National Air Express (NC79989), to AV Reforma (XA-HUG), under same registration to AeroMéxico, rereg'd
N75885 for Ohio Oil;Marathon Oil and lastly to AL Urraca as HP-560.
Destroyed 21Feb1973 at Cerro Horqueta, Boquete in Panama.

From 'The DC-3 struck the Cerro Horqueta mountain. Fatalities: 22 (Occupants: 28)

Douglas DC-6B/F, HP-503 (c/n 43524) of Internacional de Aviación (Inair)
PanAm was the first user of this 'Six', registered as N6524C; next was a lease (and returned) to Capital AL,
converted DC-6B in April'75 and last operator was Inair Panama (HP-503).
Destroyed in August 1982 at C. David Campbell Field/Municipal (Corsicana-CRS) in Texas, on a drug run.

From Piston Engined Airliner Production List (TAHS; 2007): 'N6524C Pan American World Airways 'Clipper Pocahontas' dlvd 19.4.52. Capital AL lsd 14.2.60. Panam 'Clipper Essen' ret 5.61. Panam 'Clipper Meteor', new
name. Wfu & std Miami 3.68. Air Lease Inc bt 17.9.68. HP-503 Inair Panama bt 12.3.70. cvtd to DC-6B(F).
4.75. Inair Panama 'Ciudad de Colon' named. HP-523 Inair Panama rr 6.75. Monarch Aviation bt 9.79
rr 9.11.79. N6524C Monarch Aviation rr 23.9.79. HP503 Monarch Aviation rr 9.11.79. HP-523 Monarch Aviation
9.11.79 (!). Inair Panama lsd 2.12.79. Wfu & std 1990.'


The recent scrapping of DC-3 PP-VBF (c/n 10156) led Ron to share this photo with me, showing it in better days!
DC-3 PP-VBF VARIG, by Ron Mak
Ron photographed it near Rio de Janeiro's Santos Dumont Airport.

Very sad...
DC-3 PP-VBF scrapped

From my (Webmaster RL) files: '42-24294 del 30Aug43, wfu/std 15Jan46, 19Jun46 Reconstruction Finance Corp(US military surplus organisation, NC68358 Air Carrier Supply Corp (no date), NC68358 Hughes Tool Co (no date), PP-VBF Varig delivered 05Dec47, pres Parque do Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro circa Sep71, PP-VBF canx reg 18Jul74, Jan80 moved to Rio Galeao after damaged by vandals, Mar80 on display after restoration.
Scrapped 31Jan20 (Facebook 'Aviation Wrecks and relics').


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Created 28-Jan-2020 | Updated: 02-Apr-2020